Friday, September 12, 2008

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Rajasthan Govt to implement pay panel's report

In a bonanza for state government employees and pensioners, the Rajasthan Cabinet on Thursday decided to implement the report of the Sixth Pay Commission from this month.

The decision would benefit over seven lakh government employees and nearly three lakh pensioners, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore told reporters here.

The report would be implemented with retrospective effect and would entail an additional burden of Rs 4920 crore annually on the state exchequer, he said after the Cabinet meeting.

Rajasthan is the first state to implement the report of the pay panel within two weeks of its receipt, Rathore said.+

Source The Hindu


Sixth Pay Commission: MP government in a bind

Pay panel recommendations on hikes in salaries and perks never fail in enlisting the support of employees' trade unions. So, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan implemented the tried and tested formula last Sunday by announcing a pay hike for the state government employees and officials.

However, in the haste to beat the Election Commission's model code of conduct for the coming Assembly elections, that is expected any time soon, Chauhan's own plan nearly boomeranged on him.

His tenure in the government would easily go down in history as the most employee-friendly over the last two decades. He has opened recruitments that were frozen for almost a decade, most popular of them are for the posts like teachers. He has not only hiked their salaries but also eased up rules for appointment to the next of kin of a deceased employee on compassionate grounds. However, the canny employees' unions know that the election-time is best suited for bargaining.

Since working out the details of new wages of 4.8 lakh workforce will take time, the State Cabinet decided on Tuesday to immediately pay 20 per cent more salary as interim relief to employees. Dissatisfied with the arrangement, many employees unions went on a flash strike in the State capital Bhopal on Wednesday.

Till late Wednesday night, Water Resources Minister Anup Mishra, who is considered to be close to Chauhan, was busy in discussions with union leaders convincing them that the Government's intentions were aboveboard.

According to the notification issued on Wednesday, the Government has decided to accept the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations and implement them retroactively from January 1, 2006. However, a formula is yet to be worked out on how to pay the huge arrears which occur from previous dues.

The annual burden on states' exchequer from the new wage scheme is likely to be Rs 2,500 crore. The arrears amount could go up to Rs 4,000 crore. This total raises a challenge to government as it would have to struggle hard to arrange such a big amount, even if staggered monthly payments of arrears are made.

Former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh used to moan about the burden created by pay commission hikes. Now, Chauhan's chartered accountant finance Minister, Raghavji Bhai might want to do the same, especially as nobody has ever uttered a word about cutting bureaucratic flab by 33 per cent as recommended by the fifth pay panel. The reason is simple: election year or not, that would be political suicide.
Source : India Today

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